SPUR 2021 Projects: Education

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SPUR projects are listed in alphabetical order by faculty mentor last name.

Educational Leadership & Policy | College of Education


RESEARCH COLLABORATIVE ON HIGHER EDUCATION IN PRISON

Erin Castro, Associate Professor

The University of Utah Prison Education Project (UPEP) is a multidisciplinary effort assisting incarcerated students and non-incarcerated volunteers to live lives of impact, both in prison and post-incarceration, by fostering academic excellence, leadership, and civic engagement. UPEP began engaging the campus and local communities in 2016 and providing onsite, face-to-face college courses at the Utah State Prison in Draper in 2017. Committed to social transformation, UPEP advances educational equity through onsite higher education, empirical research, and advocacy.

The Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison launched in Summer 2017 as part of UPEP. The Research Collaborative is interested in two central issues regarding higher education in prison: quality (what is being provided?) and equity (who has access?). These two questions drive the work of the Collaborative and we currently have three externally funded research projects all aimed at expanding the provision of quality higher education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Specifically, the project seeks to provide baseline research regarding postsecondary education in U.S. prison through outreach, internet documentation, and survey research, as well as to qualitatively examine how college-in-prison stakeholders provide and support programming using a purposeful sample of multiple institutions of higher education in the U.S.

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Educational psychology | College of education


REFINEMENT OF SUICIDE RISK MANAGEMENT INTERVENTION

Monika Lohani, Assistant Professor

Suicide rates are rising dramatically in the U.S. Timely interventions are necessary so that high risk individuals get help to identify their personal warning signs and adopt coping strategies to manage emotional dysregulation that heightens suicidal tendencies. Crisis response planning (CRP) intervention teaches a range of coping strategies and provides support that can reduce suicide attempts and ideation. CRP is used in both psychiatric and non-psychiatric health care settings, and has been shown to significantly reduce suicide attempts by 76%. Little is known about the role of emotional dysregulation that is believed to explain improvement in suicidal behaviors after CRP therapy. The current project will be the first to examine the impact of CRP intervention on suicide risk and emotional dysregulation by comparing it to treatment as usual control groups. Improvements from pre-to-post intervention will be measured by adopting ecological momentary sampling (e.g., suicide attempts and ideation) methods and interview that will provide reliable measures of changes and delineate the underlying mechanisms of change that mitigate suicidal vulnerabilities. This project will inform the refinement of an effective suicide risk management intervention. This is a collaboration between University of Utah and Ohio State University. All aspects of this research are being conducted completely online.

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